Word of the Day: Folly


fol-ly / fŏl-ē

noun (plural follies)

1. lack of good sense, thought or understanding; foolishness

Nobody so wise but has a little folly to spare.

German Proverb

2. an instance of foolishness

There is no folly equal to that of throwing away friendship in a world where friendship is so rare.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1803 – 1873

3. a costly or foolish venture

It is best to learn wisdom from the follies of others.

Latin Proverb

4. a fanciful structure built for decorative purpose only, serving no practical purpose

Follys were very popular in the 18th century and were usually ornamental buildings with no practical purpose – often towers or mock-Gothic ruins built in large gardens or parks.

Keiligh Baker, “Englishman’s home really is his castle!”, ‘DailyMail.com, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2823315/Grade-II-listed-folly-complete-turret-market-268-000.html, November 6, 2014

5. follies (both singular and plural) an elaborate musical show with songs, dancing, and skits and elaborate costumes

Joining Miss Bayes in the Follies of 1908, which opened at the Jardin de Paris on June 15, was Mlle. Dazie who performed her Jiu Jitsu Waltz, as well as her Swingstreet/Streetswing ballet.

Carla Cushman, “Stage Whispers”, carlacushman.blogspot.com/2009/09/ziegfeld-follies-part-one.html, accessed June 1, 2023